Clearly inspired by the Metroid titles, MindSeize checks all the boxes from Nintendo’s fan favorite bounty hunting series. Playable space marine in a cool looking suit? Check. Traverse expansive but stereotypical environments? You betcha. Gain abilities one at a time to slowly earn access to every nook and cranny the level design has to offer? Yes sir, that is the name of the game. Unfortunately, there are no unique features or special charm for MindSeize to call its own. The question then becomes, why play this when Metroid is a better game?
Playing as a crippled father trying to get revenge on the baddies that seized the mind of his daughter, the story is very Avatar. Dear old Dad takes control of a robot and becomes nimble when he can’t even walk in real life. Then the player gets the occasional radio call from HQ to provide some details but the story never captivates or makes the player care.
Gameplay is typical Metroid fare. Running, jumping, ledge grabbing, and eventual wall jumping is the norm, along with a growing ordnance. Perhaps the biggest change over Samus’ ever growing suit is putting a limit on weaponry. Here, only two guns can be equipped at any one time so there can be some trial and error to each situation. Since loadouts can only be adjusted at save points, this can potentially make backtracking tedious, especially considering the distance and challenge between points. MindSeize isn’t exactly an easy game and losing 15 minutes of progress upon death can be maddening. The quest also doesn’t leave blatant breadcrumbs either. Although the map system has detail, it never tells the player where to go by design. Instead, running into a dead end to try again later is commonplace here. Don’t be surprised if you are starring at the map screen just as long as the game screen at times.
Although bosses might not be particularly memorable, it is worth mentioning that the common creature has the capability to kill you. The screen can often be packed with baddies, usually composed of a few different enemy types, which is cool and impressive. Herein lies most of the challenge – just making it to that next unexplored checkpoint. With so many enemies and limited arsenal, hitting each checkpoint is a badge of honor and a sense of relief. Combine this with the non-hand holding level progression and the player will feel accomplishment throughout the quest.
MindSeize doesn’t really do anything wrong but it also doesn’t do anything to call its own. It still is a playable experience especially for fans of the genre but the uninspired gameplay and copycat narrative won’t exactly leave a lasting impressive. At the same time, MindSeize is further proof that the Metroid formula works and can still provide entertainment even if it isn’t all that special.
Also available on PC.